Denmark holds the EU Presidency
Beginning January 1, Denmark holds the EU Presidency until June 30. Can the non-Euro member find a solution to the Euro crisis?
Egypt’s parliament plans first session on January 23
The Egyptian parliament's lower house, the People's Assembly, is set to meet on January 23 in order to draft a new constitution. The Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, and to a lesser extent the even more conservative Salafi al-Nour party, dominate the lower house. The new constitution will determine whether or not Egypt continues the path towards democratic reform.
48th Munich Security Conference from February 3-5
Each year the Munich Security Conference brings together political players from all over the world. Conference attendees will certainly not be lacking in topics to discuss, from Iranian nuclear ambitions to new North Korean leadership.
Iranian Parliamentary elections on March 2
These will be the first elections since the 2009 polls that spawned the Green Movement. Major reformists are boycotting the elections, leaving a struggle of ruling powers between supporters of Khamenei and supporters of Ahmadinejad.
Russian Presidential election on March 4
With Putin once again seeking the Presidency and mass protests emerging in Moscow and elsewhere, North America and Europe must be prepared to deal with a potentially more volatile Russia.
French Presidential election on April 22
An unpopular President Sarkozy faces the Socialist front-runner Francois Hollande. Hollande wishes to revisit the deal reached at the EU summit in December of last year and see more intervention by the European Central Bank, moves opposed by Germany. As such, what road Europe chooses to travel depends a lot on France's next president
G8 Summit from May 15-22
With the United States holding the G8 Presidency, Barack Obama will hope for a summit demonstrating his effectiveness to both an international and domestic audience in an election year.
NATO summit in Chicago from May 20-21
At the last summit, NATO adopted its new Strategic Concept. Since then, it has entered and completed a major operation in Libya and agreed to a gradual phase-out of combat troops in Afghanistan until 2014. In what direction will the summit take the Alliance?
2012 UEFA European Football Championship
The Euro 2012 will be hosted jointly by Ukraine and Poland. This will be the first time the major European football tournament will be played in countries from the former Eastern Bloc, and arrive amidst concerns about Ukrainian democracy after the jailing of its former prime minister for allegedly political reasons.
UN Conference on Sustainable Development 2012 in Brazil from June 20-22
Marking the 20th anniversary of the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), a major objective of this conference is to secure political commitment for sustainable development. The conference represents an opportunity for Europe and the United States to influence the framework for sustainable development.
G20 Summit in Mexico
G20 members represent 90% of global GDP and much of the world's population. This summit will be a key meeting for nations attempting to stabilize the global economy, strengthen financial regulations, and promote sustainable growth.
Cyprus takes over EU Presidency on July 1
Will Cyprus, as a small and politically contentious state, be able to effectively carry out this role at such a critical time for Europe?
Donor Conference in Tokyo for Afghanistan
The last conference for Afghanistan in Bonn, Germany did not necessarily answer the tough questions. Perhaps Japan can guide this conference to a more successful conclusion.
2012 Summer Olympics
London is hosting the 2012 Summer Olympics. Prime Minister David Cameron hopes the Games will bring in big revenue for his country, but many in Britain question the high costs of hosting the games in the current economic climate and what value the games will have for local communities
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Russia from September 2-9
Russia's agenda for the APEC meeting includes trade liberalization, food security, reliable supply chains, and cooperation to foster growth. This meeting is particularly important in light of the US turning its focus towards Asia.
Communist Party of China's 18th National Congress
The Congress will usher in China's new political leadership. President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao will step down from the Standing Committee - the highest-ranking political body, which consists of nine members drawn from the 25-person Politburo. The transition in government could affect China's stance towards Europe and the US.
US Presidential and legislative elections on November 6
With both the Presidency and Congress up for grabs, US policy could change tremendously if a Republican candidate can unseat President Obama.
Kyoto Protocol commitment period ends on December 31
The end of the Protocol's first commitment period highlights the issue of climate change. Also coming to a close in December will be the 2012 UN Climate Change Conference. Hosted by Qatar, the conference will determine future climate change policy after less than stellar results at Durban.
Written by Joshua Clapp on behalf of the editorial team.